By Bill Finley
With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Florida coast, Gulfstream officials have ordered the evacuation of the barns they felt were most vulnerable to damage from the storm. According to Bill Badgett Jr., a member of the upper management team at the track, about 750 horses have already left the track. Trainers were given the option of either sending them to Ocala or to Palm Meadows.
The barns that were evacuated were the ones closest to the backstretch entrance on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Not only are they the oldest barns on the Gulfstream backstretch but they are in a lower-lying area than other barns are more prone to flooding.
“The good thing was there was so much notice in advance, we are able to jump on this thing before it got too bad,” Badgett said. “We started preparations a couple of days ago and we’ve gotten the horses out. On top of everything else, we’ve been dealing with a shortage of horse vans. But everybody has been working diligently to help one another out.”
Badgett said about 500 horses will remain on the Gulfstream backstretch through the impending storm. They will all be housed in the newer barns or tents that serve as barns. In addition, the nearly 450 horses stabled at Gulfstream Park West are, for the most part, remaining there, Badgett said.
“The tents are hurricane safe up to 175 mile-per-hour winds,” Badgett said. “At Gulfstream West, it looks like that’s actually going to be a pretty good place to be because and they won’t get the big hit from the ocean side. As for our newer barns, anything built down here after 1992 or 1993 has to be up to standards when it comes to hurricanes, and that’s the case with all of those barns. The dormitories are also hurricane proof. For a lot of the workers, these guys are actually safer here than going up the road north where there’s really nowhere to go.”
The horse vans have had to make their way through the snarling conditions on the Florida highways as people are fleeing the area. It is about 42 miles from Gulfstream to Palm Meadows. A one-way trip, Badgett said, took the vans about 6 ½ hours to complete on Thursday.
Trainer Stanley Gold told the TDN that he had sent his entire stable to Arindel Farm in Ocala. Arindel is one of his major clients. Trainer David Fawkes said he left 30 horses at Gulfstream and sent 10 to Ocala, and in many cases left the decision up to his owners.
“Some are leaving and others are going to stay,” Fawkes said. “A lot of people who I train for said the storm is going to hit the Ocala area, too, so they don’t see how much there is to gain by leaving. You could put a lot of time and effort into leaving and wind up in the same situation. We’ve been though this before, with Hurricane Wilma, and nothing happened to the horses. It was a huge storm but all the horses were fine. For the horses that stay here, we’ll do everything we can for them and hope for the best.”
Irma is a Category 5 storm that was causing devastation in the Carribean at press time. It is expected to hit the Florida coast with full force on Sunday. The area encompassing the Gulfstream facility is under a state-ordered mandatory evacuation order, but Badgett said that there are no expectations that anyone who stays behind will face criminal charges.
“A lot of people aren’t leaving,” he said. “I drive through the neighborhoods and the hurricane shutters are up, the sand bags are up. A lot of people are going to ride the storm out.”
That includes many backstretch workers who will have to be on hand at Gulfstream to care for the horses that are remaining there.
“Obviously, our greatest concern is for the workers, the people, the horses,” he said. “They come first. Everybody is in pretty good shape as far as that goes. The backside kitchen will stay open as much as they possibly can, so the guys living in the dorms taking care of the horses have food.”
Badgett added that he was optimistic that Irma would not cause any major damage to the facility or to the track surfaces.
Gulfstream has canceled live racing through Sunday and said they were hoping to re-open on Wed., Sept. 13.
Gulfstream Park has cancelled live racing Sept. 7-Sept. 10 because of the unexpected path of Hurricane Irma, which the National Hurricane Center is calling “an extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm.
With winds in excess of 180 miles per hour, Hurricane Irma is likely to impact South Florida as early as this weekend. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a statewide emergency, and on the evening of Sept. 5, President Donald Trump declared emergencies in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico because of Irma. Local officials placed the Florida Keys under mandatory evacuation orders Sept. 6, and Miami-Dade county could end up issuing similar orders.
Gulfstream Park is located in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in Broward County, about 18 miles north of Miami.
Gulfstream will be open this Thursday and Friday for simulcast wagering, and officials will monitor the storm throughout the weekend. Racing is tentatively scheduled to resume Sept. 13, which was a scheduled makeup day.
Gulfstream’s casino will be open through Friday evening.
“Obviously, our first priority is the safety of our patrons and our equine athletes,” said P.J. Campo, general manager of Gulfstream Park and vice president of racing for The Stronach Group. “Horsemen are being given the option to keep their horses at Gulfstream, Gulfstream Park West, or move to our training facility at Palm Meadows in Palm Beach.”
Nonprofit Encourages Early Actions to Improve Resiliency
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23, 2017 — As all eyes are on Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, the American Red Cross is encouraging our neighbors to take action, especially for a tropical system that could bring heavy rainfall in Louisiana. As you prepare your household for significant threats such as flooding and even high winds and storm surge, our Red Cross team – comprised mostly of volunteers – is readying our disaster responders and supplies, checking shelter and caterer availability in case they’re needed and working closely with local and state emergency managers and partners to coordinate efforts.
“We know the critical difference preparedness makes for each household in an emergency,” said Joshua Joachim, chief executive for the Red Cross in Louisiana. “As you take action, consider each person’s needs and how that might change if you had to evacuate suddenly, including moving to a shelter, or were without power for an extended period of time.”
Prepare in Advance
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane or tropical system. We encourage our neighbors to review these resources and to help us keep everyone safe by sharing preparedness and safety messaging with their loved ones, neighbors and colleagues.
Be sure you’re Red Cross Ready. That means:
- Assembling an emergency preparedness kit that fits your individual needs.
- Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
- Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
- Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.
- Download the Emergency App for iPhone >> or for Android >>
- If you or a member of your household is an individual with access or functional needs, including a disability, consider developing a comprehensive evacuation plan in advance with family, care providers and care attendants, as appropriate. Complete a personal assessment of functional abilities and possible needs during and after an emergency or disaster situation, and create a personal support network to assist.
Protecting Your Family
- Talk with your family about what to do before the storm’s effects hit. Discussing ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children.
- Ensure that every member of your family carries a Safe and Well wallet card.
- Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts:
- Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding. Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flash drive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.
Protecting Your Pets & Animals
- Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.
Protecting Your Home
- Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
- Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
- Remember that standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov. (open in Chrome)
- Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
- Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter.
- Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.
Then, If You Can, Do This
- Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking.
- Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.
- Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, such as bicycles and patio furniture.
If You Still Have Time, Do This
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
- Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.
- Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.
If You Have Pets or Livestock
- Consider a precautionary evacuation of your animals, especially any large or numerous animals. Waiting until the last minute could be fatal for them and dangerous for you.
- Where possible, move livestock to higher ground. If using a horse or other trailer to evacuate your animals, move sooner rather than later.
- Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Be sure that your pet emergency kit is ready to go in case of evacuation.
Staying Safe During a Hurricane or Tropical System
- Stay indoors away from windows and glass doors. Flying debris from high winds is dangerous and can be deadly.
- DO NOT stay in a mobile or manufactured home. If you are in a mobile / manufactured home or temporary structure, move to a sturdy building.
- Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.
- Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.
- Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
Staying Safe Outdoors
- Turn Around! Don’t Drown! Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
- If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Don’t walk on beaches or riverbanks.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
Staying Safe After a Storm
- Let friends and family know you’re safe – Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website
- If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
Caring for Yourself & Loved Ones
- Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.
- Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Help people who require additional assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
Returning Home Safely
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.
- Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systemsafter a hurricane.
- Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, forinsurance purposes.
Cleaning and Repairing Your Home
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
- Learn more about how to clean up after a hurricane, including the supplies you’ll need, how to deal with contaminated food and water, and how to repair water damage.
- Don’t just repair your home, build in hurricane-resistant features to help protect against future storms:
- Secure double entry doors at the top and bottom.
- Strengthen garage doors to improve wind resistance, particularly double-wide garage doors.
- Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace any damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
- If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consider building a safe room.
Ask a Professional to
- Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
- Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
- Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
- Elevate your home if it’s near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.
Regional Communications and Marketing Manager
Due to Tropical Storm Cindy the LTBA Fair Grounds office is closing at noon today, Wednesday, June 21st.
NOAA Predicting an Above-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season this Year
NEW ORLEANS, May 31, 2017 — Hurricane season starts June 1 and forecasters are predicting a 45 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, threatening both coastal and inland residents between now and the end of November. To help families stay safe, the American Red Cross is issuing the top six hurricane preparedness tips should a hurricane or tropical storm head for your community.
“We know the critical difference preparedness makes for each household in an emergency,” said Joshua Joachim, chief executive for the Red Cross in Louisiana. “As you take action this year, consider each person’s needs and how that might change if you had to evacuate suddenly, including moving to a shelter, or were without power for an extended period of time.”
Here are the top six things you should do now to be ready for Hurricane Season 2017:
- Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Be prepared to evacuate quickly and evacuate if told to do so.
- Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area, and emergency contact information.
- Get access to NOAA radio broadcasts. Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio in theRed Cross Store.
- Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone. Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
- Be informed. Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as encouraged and make plans for pets. If travel is in your plans, learn about how emergency situations are communicated at your destination.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for expert guidance on what to do before, during and after hurricanes as well as 34 other types of emergencies. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.
If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If an emergency plan already exists for the household, family members should talk about it again so everyone knows what to do and where to go if an emergency occurs.
Visit here for full information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane.
RED CROSS PREPARED Trained Red Cross disaster workers across Louisiana are ready to respond if needed, though more volunteers are needed.
“As part of your personal preparedness, please join us: become a Red Cross volunteer and receive training as soon as possible to serve when the time comes,” Joachim said.
Among the most needed positions are workers and managers in operating shelters, assessing damage, distributing supplies and coordinating with government operations. With opportunities available across 32 activities, there’s a position of interest for almost any volunteer.
To sign up, choose Volunteer Opportunities at redcross.org/Louisiana or contact your local Red Cross. Training courses are ongoing.
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Disney; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; General Motors Foundation; Grainger; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Target; UPS; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Wawa Foundation.
ADGP $500,000 members are: 3M; Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Boise Paper; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Farmers Insurance; Ford Motor Company; Humble Bundle; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; McDonald’s Corporation; Medtronic Foundation; Meijer; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; Reynolds American Foundation; Ryder; Southwest Airlines; Sunoco; TD Ameritrade; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; and Wells Fargo.
Disaster Responder Program members are: Adobe; Alcoa; Astellas USA Foundation; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA; The Ball Foundation; BNY Mellon; CarMax; The Clorox Company; Cox Automotive; DTE Energy Foundation; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; Harbor Freight Tools; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; Hi-Rez Studios; HP Foundation; IBM Corporation; IHG Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; New Balance Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Prudential Foundation; PuroClean Disaster Recovery; SC Johnson; SERVPRO; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; T O Y O T A; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; The USAA Foundation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.
Louisiana Ready 365 members are: Entergy, Dow, RoyOMartin, Tidewater, Acadian Ambulance, BASF, BNSF Railway, CenturyLink, ExxonMobil, Grainger, John Deere, Latter & Blum, Olinde’s, Whitney, and the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.